After months of recession-fuelled growth on both sides of the pond, the future for own label has become a subject of fierce debate. This week, US retail giant SuperValu has called for more innovation in private label, US bakery group Flowers Foods insisted it saw little room for future growth from the category, while in the UK analysts Datamonitor claimed own label remains on the rise.

These are the top ten stories on just-food this week.

US: Supervalu calls for private-label innovation
Supervalu is preparing to call on packaging suppliers to bring innovation to the private-label sector and form closer ties with retailers in order to improve private label products.

INSIGHT: Flowers sees little potential for private label
Flowers Foods has said that it does not expect private-label products to gain further market share in the US bakery category.

UK: Own-label sales rise – report
Sales of own-label products have been driven up by recession in the UK, with own label reportedly accounting for almost half of all sales last month.

UK: Waitrose leads sales growth – TNS
Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose has enjoyed the fastest sales growth among the country’s largest retailers in the last 12 weeks, according to analysts TNS.

AUS: Costco launches in Australian market
Costco, the world’s ninth-largest retailer, has today (17 August) opened its first store in Australia within the Docklands precinct of Melbourne.

INSIGHT: Heinz defends display in “tough” European market
HJ Heinz CFO Art Winkleblack today (20 August) admitted that the US food giant is under “no delusions” that trading will remain “tough” in Europe, where the company’s volumes fell 4% in the first quarter.

WORLD: Sugar hikes could cause consumer price rises – analyst
Increases in the price of sugar on the global commodities market could result in higher food costs for consumers, a leading analyst has warned.

UK: Baxters to revamp entire soup range
Baxters Food Group, the UK family-owned soup maker, has today (18 August) announced plans to re-launch its entire soup range.

US: Danone launches Dannon loyalty programme
The Dannon Co., the US unit of French food giant Danone, has launched Dannonomics, a loyalty campaign designed to appeal to consumers during the economic downturn.

UK: Tesco adds carbon footprint to milk
Tesco yesterday (17 August) began including carbon footprint information on milk as part of the UK retailer’s aim for all its products to carry carbon labels.